In the previous column, David Meerman Scott shared some ideas about how business owners can leverage the new media options to maximize their business performance. In this second and final column, Mr. Scott concludes answering additional questions. As a reminder, he will be speaking at the FCPRA in Stamford, CT on November 22nd (register at www.fcpra.org.). Scott’s most recent book has recently hit the best seller list on both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today as of 11/7/10.
6. Is it best for the CEO to participate or to have a professional staffer do it?
DMS: Only people who are passionate about a subject should participate. If the CEO is passionate about the business then they should be communicating. (I fear for you if your CEO has no passion. Probably time to quit your job.) NEVER should a CEO employ a ghost writer!!! The more people that participate in your company – the more you benefit. The mind-set has to start at the top. If your leaders get the need for real-time speed they must give explicit permission and proactively advocate cultural change at all levels. Companies who are wiling to take the challenge of participation in real time have the potential to create a new market niche, and a competitive edge by delivering faster than everybody else.
Of course, the downside is that without a plan for how to share and what to share online – the potential damage done by an untrained person can be enormous. Social media mistakes can hamper the best intentions of any corporate executive.
7. What resources exist to learn how to do it “right?”
DMS: Dare I say that my books: The New Rules of Marketing and PR and Real-Time Marketing and PR are great starts? Both are bestsellers and New Rules is now in its second edition, and is published in 26 languages from Bulgarian to Vietnamese
Of course, the presentation given on the 22nd will address many of the tips and techniques included in the books, as well.
8. How do you measure success? What is the objective?
DMS: How are sales? How many people are talking about you? How many people are recommending you to their networks? Are you having fun?
Like all marketing efforts, if there is no clear benefit or advantage derived from the participation in social media, then it needs to be re-assessed and improved so that it does create a positive outcome.
9. What can one do to monitor or track social media influence?
DMS: Monitoring what’s being said and using social Web analytics to make reacting to it a part of your organizational culture is critical for any business that is serious about operating in real time. Two free tools to use right now if you are not already are news and blog alerting tool like Google Alerts and a Twitter client like TweetDeck. Enter your company name, products, services, and category of product and monitor what’s happening.
10. What companies do it best?
DMS: I love talking about the US military. All 3 million members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard are encouraged to be active in social media. If the Pentagon brass have overcome fear, so can you.
11. How do you cut through the clutter of all of the inane chatter about personal nonsense to share a business message?
DMS: You understand that in today’s real time revolution, the swift are out front, and you EARN attention online by creating something that is interesting and publishing it online for free: A YouTube video, blog, research report, series of photos, twitter stream, ebook, and the like. Instead of creating jargon-filled, hype-based advertising, you create online content that your buyers naturally gravitate to.
12. How should marketing budgets be allocated between and among PR/Advertising/Social Media?
DMS: How do you allocate budget for the telephone? I think online communications is not a nice to have. It is essential, like the phone, and therefore should not be thought of as a budget item.
13. How do I decide whether to blog/LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook or do anything else/nothing at all?
DMS: Before you decide this, you need to decide who you want to reach and which tool will work best on your or your company’s behalf for doing so. You must also decide what content you will use to engage the audience with those tools. Whether you are a solopreneur or a major corporation content has in many ways leveled the playing field. When you build content especially for your audience, you build a relationship with people before you’ve even met them. When it’s obvious you understand your buyers and their problems, it jars your visitors into paying attention.
For more insight and discussion around the evolving fields of marketing, PR, social media, etc.; be sure to register for the presentation at www.fcpra.org.